Arizona school districts confused over Doug Ducey's pay plan

Arizona school districts confused over Doug Ducey's pay plan
Posted at 2:29 PM, Aug 07, 2017
and last updated 2017-08-07 17:35:53-04

Arizona school districts have yet to receive word of details of new funding stream provided in the new state budget at the behest of Gov. Doug Ducey.

Districts are relying on a list of about 250 schools compiled by the Joint Legislative Budget Committee in the spring, but the official list of schools that will receive money, and how much they receive, has not been finalized by the Arizona Department of Education.

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The results-based funding plan was one of the biggest chunks of new spending in Ducey's budget proposal. The money rewards high-performing schools by giving them more money to spend on teachers or expansions of successful programs and practices.

The program, totaling $38 million this year, will provide schools that score in the top 10 percent on the 2016 AzMerit tests additional money per student. Next year, schools will be assessed based on the letter grade they receive in the state's rating system, the Arizona Capitol Times reported Monday.

Districts, which adopted their budgets in July, have not been told when to expect payments from the results-based funding initiative. They haven't been directed, beyond what is in the approved budget, on where they can use the money.

"This budget item and this funding was really well-intended, but it wasn't thought out as well as it should have been," said James Lee, superintendent of Paradise Valley Unified School District. "Districts are scrambling to figure out how to use it."